women during red light therapy

Red Light Therapy vs Infrared Sauna – What’s the Difference?

Colour light therapy, although not new, has become increasingly popular in the past few years. You may have seen the warrior-style red masks being promoted as the new fountain of youth, or heard of the pain-relieving benefits of Infrared Saunas but never really understood how they work.

Red Light Therapy and Infrared Sauna are often confused and many who are looking for a natural light therapy solution struggle to understand the difference.

As it turns out, the answers to the Red Light Therapy vs Infrared Sauna debate depend on what you are hoping for from light therapy but before we get into that, let’s start by understanding what the difference is between these two options.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy (RLT), also known as low-power laser therapy (LPLT), low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and photobiomodulation (PBM), is when you expose your skin to a lamp, device, or laser with red low-level wavelengths of light.

Red Light Therapy work exposes the skin to red light that you can see.

How is Infrared Sauna Therapy Different from Red Light Therapy?

women during red light procedure

The human body needs exposure to light to be and stay healthy. Lack of light exposure has been linked to problems including cognitive issues, weak bones, weight gain, and muscle weakness. Light therapy is a natural healer for these and a long list of other conditions and issues.

Although both forms of light therapy, the difference between Red Light Therapy and Infrared Therapy has to do with where their wavelengths appear on the electromagnetic spectrum. No need to dive back into the high school science textbooks here, we’ll break it down for you.

Basically, our bodies experience a variety of electromagnetic waves that travel through our world in different ways. Radio waves are longer and we experience them as sounds; x-rays travel in shorter wavelengths and help us see within the body, and are extremely harmful.

Infrared heat is completely safe, and travels on slightly longer wavelengths that can penetrate the body and transmit heat we can feel but cannot see. Red Light is Visible Light and its shorter wavelengths reach the surface of the skin. It emits very low heat, if any, and our eyes can see it.

How Are Different Light Therapies Used?

women in sauna

Red Light Therapy emits very low heat that cannot make you sweat. Infrared heat makes you sweat very efficiently without raising your core body temperature. Sweat is the body’s way of cleansing the bad stuff it cannot otherwise excrete. Science has measured human sweat as containing all kinds of environmental toxins which the body can sometimes only excrete in sweat.

Infrared Therapy is perfect for the sauna where your whole body can experience the light therapy benefits. An Infrared Sauna session is great for people who want, or need to sweat but cannot tolerate the high heat of a regular sauna.

What are the Risks With Red Light Therapy and Infrared Sauna?

People and animals naturally produce infrared heat. It is safe and not known to have negative side effects. Traditional saunas have been used for centuries with minimal concern except for the potential to overheat or become dehydrated which is why we use silica-based ceramic elements.

SaunaRay Infrared Saunas produce very low, consistent heating which gently warms the body without overheating. As well, our SaunaRay saunas are made toxin-free, only using natural and sustainable materials, eliminating the risk of exposure to unnecessary chemicals.

Red Light Therapy is considered safe however, there have been reports of burns and blistering. Red Light Therapy devices require wiring and materials that may break or corrode. There is also a potential risk of damage to the eyes due to the visual light exposure making proper eye protection a potential requirement.

Do I need Red Light Therapy in my Infrared Sauna?

You should consider which application works best for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Red Light Therapy devices are often targeted and used individually.

They can be purchased cheaply and simply placed in a lamp nearby to give you exposure. Infrared heat is a bigger investment as you need a sauna to ensure you trigger a full body sweat. It can also be a welcoming space for solitude or a space where you can unwind with your loved ones.

A Note from SaunaRay

Light therapies are widely supported by health and industry professionals. While you are likely to experience a variety of benefits from an Infrared Sauna, it is always best to discuss health concerns with a health care provider.

Infrared Saunas are generally safe and a great way to take care of your mental wellbeing through relaxation. Learn more about the benefits of Infrared Sauna and which model is best for you by contacting our team.